[lit-ideas] "Irreversible" -- a notion the Greeks lacked

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 10:39:42 EDT

M. Chase is trying to reconstruct Plato's argument for the immortality of  
the soul:
>we observe two processes or
>"comings-into-being" (Greek  *geneseis*) : one from A towards B and the
>other from B towards A.  Chances are, therefore, that this is true of
>the contraries life and  death as well. Now, everybody knows there is a
>path from being-alive  towards being-dead ; this intermediary state or
>process is called  "dying", as the path from being-small towards
>being-big is called  "increase". But this implies there is a converse
>path as well, this time  from being-dead to being-alive; it's called
>"coming back to life" (*to  anabi=F4skesthai*, 72a).
>That we have to do not with conceptual but   with ontological =

One problem here is that Greek lacked a word for 'irreversible' (or  
'reversible' for that matter)? Surely some processes are irreversible.
I could check with the OED what things are dubbed by the OED to be  
'irreversible', but there must be some. Also, I was unable to find an entry in  
Short/Lewis, Latin Dictionary, for 'irreversibilis', or any cognate ('reverso', 
means 'turn back', generally).

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